What A Foreigner Needs To Know Before Visiting Philippines
Claire Adams | Jun 26, 2018
If you’re planning your next vacation, look no further than the Philippines! This beautiful country is an absolute must-visit destination for all world travelers and adventurists where you can find everything from sandy beaches, thick forests and urban jungles. Plus, the people are super friendly and welcoming! So, no matter if you’re a seasoned backpacker or a first-time traveler, here are a few useful things you need to know about the Philippines that will certainly make your trip even more enjoyable.
Visa is a breeze
Visitors from most countries don’t even need a visa to enter the Philippines! If you come from Australia or one of the 150+ countries that have good diplomatic relations with Filipinos, you can stay in the country for 30 days with nothing more than a valid passport! In case you’re planning to stay longer than that, you must obtain a Visa Extension from a Philippine Embassy or the Bureau of Immigration before your trip.
Paying is easy
Filipinos take big pride in their currency, the Peso, and all banks, most hotels and even some malls are certified to exchange foreign currencies for pesos. You can also get around with plastics! MasterCard, Visa, Diners and American Express are all accepted all over the country. However, it’s always good to have some local money for transport, tips and small purchases. As little as 50 pesos is usually all you need in cash at any given time!
The language barrier is easy to cross
The Philippines have over 100 different languages spoken all through the islands, but the official language of the country is Tagalog. Luckily, English is spoken almost everywhere you turn, so you’ll not have any problems communicating with locals and getting around the archipelago. However, it’s always good to know a few phrases in Tagalog!
Since the Philippines have only two seasons — dry and wet, make sure to pack some light and airy clothes and stay protected from the rain. Some waterproof shoes and a good raincoat will be true lifesavers if you happen to find yourself in the Philippines during the wet season. Another thing you must pack if you come from other countries, is an adaptor! Luckily, the well-equipped Go Travel stores have handy adaptor kits that will get you plugged-in no matter where you come from! Many people often forget about this detail and stay out of power as soon as they land, so put it on your packing-list.
Make sure to use local transport
If you want to experience some fun and excitement, make sure to try out local Philippine transport! They mainly use tricycles (similar to Tuk Tuks) and brightly colored buses, also known as Jeepneys. Both of these transport options are very cheap and offer a lot of excitement for foreigners. However, you must be aware that the traffic in the Philippines is CRAZY! The capital, Manila, is flooded with cars, motorbikes, tricycles and Jeepneys at any time of the day, and the islands aren’t much different. You’ll not be able to get anywhere fast, so make sure to leave yourself plenty of time to get to your destination if you want to be there on time! But, if you love people-watching and getting an unaltered sense of Filipino life, getting stuck in traffic can be super-fun.
Don’t dare skip on local food
Many foreigners who come to the Philippines for the first time experience a real shock to their palate! However, no matter how picky you are when it comes to food, make sure to try as many local delicacies as you can and prepare to be mind-blown! Filipinos are true masters in preparing fish, pork and all sorts of rice meals. One of the local favorites is definitely Adobo — chicken or pork marinated in soy sauce and vinegar. It’s very simple, yet so delicious! Those that are a bit braver can try Balut or duck embryo, another famous Filipino street food specialty.
Expect to be amazed!
The Philippines are really magical and everywhere you look, you can see something breathtaking and Instagram-worthy. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a tropical postcard! So, don’t forget to bring a good camera that will help you immortalize your Filipino adventure.
Are you already itching to visit the Philippines? Now that you know all the most important tips and tricks when traveling to this amazing country, you can be sure you’ll have an unforgettable trip!
Images by Pexels and Pixabay
Are you a foreigner exploring the Philippines? Share your journey with us on #ChoosePhilippines